Groups endorse nomination of Vilma Santos for National Artist Award

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At a glance


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    Marian Rivera, Vilma Santos Recto and Dingdong Dantes

    Award-winning actor Dingdong Dantes said on Friday, June 28, that it is high time for Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos-Recto to be bestowed the prestigious National Artist Award.

    "Nagkataon na meron kaming general assembly over a month ago. And then may nakuha kaming movements, and we're fortunate we became part of that movement. So, we discussed it among the officers and issued our first board resolution, nominating Vilma Santos for National Artist," said Dingdong when asked how the nomination for Ate Vi came about during a press conference at the Manila Hotel on Friday, June 28.

    Dingdong, husband of Marian Rivera, recalled his first encounter with Ate Vi.

    "Ang unang encounter ko kay Ate Vi na hindi ko makakalimutan ay noong mga late 80s kung saan nag promote kami ng aming school play sa GMA sa kanyang programa sa Broadway Centrum. Hindi ko makakalimutan. Hindi ko siya nakausap noon dahil Vilma Santos na siya noon. Pero kakaiba talaga yung naging impact niya sa akin.

    "Nang pumasok ako sa industriya, naging bahagi ng aking consciousness ang kanyang body of work, persona, and appearance physical or not. Ramdam mo ang kanyang involvement hindi lang isang season or one generation. 

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    Vilma Santos-Recto

    "Up to these days, she manage to make herself relevant. Kung nangyari ba ito 10 years ago, mas sapat o tama ba? Hindi ko alam. Pero ngayon, after she turned 70, ito ang tamang panahon sa aking personal na opinyon," Dingdong said.

    Vilma is in the US for a vacation when the nomination was officially announced. She is expected to return to the country sometime in July.

    AKTOR PH, a group of Filipino actors headed by Dingdong, endorsed Ate Vi's nomination for National Artist Broadcast and Film.

    Among the groups, institutions, and personalities endorsing Ate Vi for the prestigious award include GMA Network, Star Cinema and ABS-CBN, UP College of Mass Communication in Diliman under Dean Fernan Paragas, Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges Tirso Ronquillo, Bicol University, Fashion Designers Association of the Philippines, UST Department of Communications and Media Studies, Ladlad, Viva Films, Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna, Mapua University Digital Program, Regal Entertainment, AKO Bicol party-list, etc.

    "Sa Family Feud kapag may guest kami na bagong artista, ipinakikilala ko sa kanila ang organization. Yun ang naging venue para imbitahan namin sila sa AKTOR PH.

    "Naniniwala ako sa tamang time. Siguro masasagot yung tanong na yan sa paraang ano ang naging impact sa akin ni Ate Vi. And I would say na yung impact niya ay generational din talaga across all seasons and decades," the actor said.

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    Dingdong Dantes (center) with former Department of Education officials Tonecito Umali and Jesus Mateo 

    AKTOR PH started with 150 active members, but during the second general assembly, the number of members has grown into around 300 members. "Hindi pa rin natatapos ang pag-imibita at pagtanggap ng bagong members. Ongoing ang pag-accept namin ng members."

    Dingdong said this nomination acknowledges her immense contributions to Philippine cinema over a remarkable 60-year career, making her one of the industry's most revered figures.

    Career achievements

    Vilma has played many characters, showcasing her exceptional acting prowess. From iconic roles such as Darna and Dyesebel to complex portrayals like a socially conscious nun (Sister Stella L, 1984),  a burlesque star (Burlesk Queen 1977), an AIDS and a terminally ill patient (Because I Love You: The Dolzura Cortez Story, 1992, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, 1989), and a rape survivor (Rubia Servios, 1978), Vilma’s versatility is truly unmatched.

     Award-winning performances

    The Star for All Seasons has won numerous acting awards from prestigious local and international bodies, including Gawad Urian, FAMAS, Catholic Mass Media, the Metro Manila Film Festival, PMPC Star Awards, and international film festivals in Brussels and Dhaka. This makes her the most awarded actress in Philippine cinema history.

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    Finance Secretary Ralph Recto and wife Vilma Santos

    Cultural impact

    Vilma has remained a significant figure in Philippine cinema, continuously leading in critically acclaimed films even as she turned 70. Widely known as the longest-reigning movie queen of Philippine Cinema, Vilma’s ability to stay relevant in a rapidly changing industry is a testament to her talent and dedication.

    Her films have had a lasting impact on popular culture, addressing social issues and contributing to national discourse. Movies like "Dekada '70" and "Bata Bata Paano Ka Ginawa?" have sparked important conversations on societal topics.

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    Young Vilma Santos

    Public service

    Beyond her film career, Vilma has made significant contributions as a public servant. She has distinguished herself as mayor, governor, and congresswoman, showing a deep commitment to her constituents. Her exemplary public service earned her the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award, the highest honor for a public servant in the Philippines.

    This recognition highlights that Vilma is more than just a celebrated actress; she understands that her influence and status can be powerful catalysts for positive change. Her transition from movie star to public servant underscores her dedication to using her platform to serve and uplift her fellow citizens, proving that her talents extend far beyond the screen.

    Champion for women

    Many of her roles depict strong, empowered women, reflecting her advocacy for women’s rights and empowerment. Vilma’s portrayal of resilient, determined female characters has inspired countless viewers.

    Advocate for quality and excellence

    Vilma's commitment to excellence in commercial and art films has set a benchmark in the industry. Her performances are marked by exceptional intelligence, sincerity, and brilliance, consistently raising the bar for cinematic artistry. With a relentless drive to reinvent herself, she ensures that each role she undertakes is fresh, impactful, and memorable.

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    Vilma Santos-Recto

    Inspiration to peers

    Vilma is widely regarded as a role model within the entertainment industry. Her extraordinary talent and unwavering professionalism set a benchmark for veteran actors and newcomers. She embodies the gold standard in acting prowess and is a revered industry icon, continuously inspiring her peers and the next generation of thespians.

    Vilma's nomination for the National Artist Award by AKTOK PH celebrates her enduring legacy, exceptional versatility, and significant contributions to Philippine arts and culture. Her sustained relevance, dedication to her craft, and influence on society underscore her deservingness of this prestigious honor.